Columnists

Hysteria over Paris pullout

For sheer hilarity and hyperbole it’s hard to beat a recent headline on a Washington Post editorial opposing President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the nonbinding and unenforceable Paris climate agreement. “Trump turns his back on the world,” it screamed. A close second ...

Can Americans be happy again?

America is not a very happy place, and it is getting less so. Our downward trend in happiness precedes the election of Donald Trump, but sadly, there’s little in his agenda that would reverse this trend. On the contrary. That’s because a boost in economic growth, though nice, wouldn’t ...

Like a rhinestone cleaner

Dear Heloise: My concern is cleaning my mother’s RHINESTONE JEWELRY. I would like to wear it to my granddaughter’s wedding in a month. — Marnie W. in The Villages, Fla. Hello to my friends in The Villages! Lovely costume jewelry from bygone days often was made from rhinestones — ...

Buckley captained conservatism before it was hijacked

WASHINGTON — In 1950, the year before William F. Buckley burst into the national conversation, the literary critic Lionel Trilling revealed why the nation was ripe for Buckley’s high-spirited romp through its political and cultural controversies. Liberalism, Trilling declared, was “not ...

Trump and the erosion of American journalism

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s war on American journalism — labeling the bulk of it “fake news” as a cloak over his own serial lying and misrepresentations — has created a genuine crisis of credibility in the news business. Yet the best and most honest of its practitioners ...

How America lost its head

In 2013, the left went nuts over a rodeo clown. The rodeo clown was performing at the Missouri State Fair, and he had the awful temerity to wear a mask of then-President Obama. “We’re going to stomp Obama now,” said an announcer. “Hey, I know I’m a clown,” the rodeo clown replied. ...

Must Love Pets

We just came back from a long three-day weekend, to some very happy and enthusiastic pets. With their tails wagging and a different kind of bark (a very high pitched one), our dogs greeted with so much love and excitement, one could hardly stand it. In looking back, it’s like this every day ...

What if the collusion probe finds nothing?

President Trump is back from his first foreign trip, and CBS “welcomed” him back by suggesting again that he can’t possibly win a long fight with the media. On May 28, CBS reporter Errol Barnett quizzed “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson, saying: “Trump is back to tweeting his ...

Trump budget fixes our broken culture

George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen has just published a timely new book, “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream.” Cowen’s message is that America is a nation that has lost its edge. Entrepreneurism and the willingness to take risks — key ...

Reynolds needs to break free from the shadows of Branstad and Trump

At the ripe old age of 26, I returned to Osceola to be the Director of the Clarke County Office of the Iowa Department of Human Services. My office was down the hall from the offices of the treasurer, auditor and recorder. After I left that position, Gov. Kim Reynolds became Clarke County ...

Trump acts like a conventional President abroad

What a difference a week makes. On May 19, President Donald Trump took off in Air Force One for the Middle East and Europe. He left behind a Washington and a nation buzzing about his firing of FBI Director James Comey, the multiple reasons he had given for doing so, the meeting he’d had with ...

Why was I listening to Judas Priest?

It’s a legitimate question. I’ve never been a fan of Judas Priest. I don’t own any Judas Priest albums or ever downloaded one of their songs. I first heard about Judas Priest when I was in elementary school. Somewhere along the way in my life I have inexorably linked the bands Judas ...

Cheer, cheer for the protesters of Notre Dame

Before we get into the debate here over whether it’s appropriate for graduating college students to protest their commencement speakers, I want to share my own observation about a growing trend in parental manners at these events. In recent years, I’ve delivered a dozen or so commencement ...

News from Des Moines

The 2017 Legislative session came to a close after a near 24-hour marathon that ended April 22 at 7:15 a.m. with the passage of the final budget bill. Since the end of session, Gov. Branstad has signed all the bills with a few minor line item vetoes in the budget, putting a cap on this session. ...

Growing right-wing intolerance for inconvenient facts

Some people will call it surprising that a reporter was reportedly assaulted Wednesday night by a political candidate. Truth is, it is not surprising in the least. For those who hadn’t heard: Greg Gianforte, a Montana Republican running for Congress, was charged with misdemeanor assault for ...

Secular Ecclesiology

Ecclesiology is the study of the church. That includes the forms of church government, its leadership, how it worships, its relationship to the people of God and even its sacraments. In modern American evangelicalism, ecclesiology is needed more than ever. With fly-by-night churches built ...

The Praying Mantis Explains Today’s Politics

To understand the bizarre political era in which we live, let us recall the mating rituals of the praying mantis. In their amorous encounter, the male mantis approaches the female — which is the physically larger and stronger of the two — and, if permitted, mounts the female from the rear. ...

What Jim has learned today

I learned I love … absolutely love … both the institution and every living, breathing soul of the U.S. Postal Service. Its very existence is a clear and tangible expression of the virtue of American thought and deed. Its history is our history. It is the logical consequence of citizenship ...

Midlife adjustments?

Dear Dave, My husband and I are in our 50s, and we have just $12,000 to pay off before we’re debt-free. We’ve paid off almost $70,000 in debt in the last two years. We would like to buy a house soon, but we know we also need an emergency fund. It would take us almost a year to build up an ...

The True Meaning of Memorial Day

On May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance to take place later that month. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of ...