Opinion

Be cautious with a pet gift

Columnists

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about gifting an animal for Christmas. — Heloise “Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers to think twice about giving an animal, such as a dog or cat, as a Christmas gift. A pet should be given ONLY if the recipient has requested a ...

‘When will the city stop reaching in my pocket for more money?’

Your View

The good thing about the 911 commission is that it distributes the costs of the 911 service more uniformly across everyone in the county. Currently everyone pays $1 per phone for the 911 equipment but Marshalltown residents pay 62 percent of the wages and benefits for the staff while the people ...

Fiscal Responsibility or Lower Taxes?

Columnists

This week, Republicans in the Senate finally passed their long-awaited tax reform plan. It lowers individual income tax rates across the board, although it does claw back some government revenue in the form of elimination of state and local tax deductions. It drops corporate tax rates as well. ...

GOP tax plan doesn’t help; it hurts!

Your View

A major premise of the Republican tax plan is that giving more money to the rich will create jobs, help pay the national debt, and make the middle class better off. This is trickle down economics. Over the years, it has resulted in no trickle — not even a drop. Instead, we have a flood of our ...

The Republicans’ tax wager is worth the gamble

Columnists

The Republicans’ tax legislation is built on economic projections that are as confidently as they are cheerfully made concerning the legislation’s shaping effect on the economy over the next 10 years. This claim to prescience must amaze alumni of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, which were ...

Nasty divorce invites ugly feelings at Christmastime

Columnists

Q: I went through an ugly divorce earlier this year. It’s been very painful for both of my children as well. They’re angry and have been dreading the possibility that their dad might ask them at the last minute to spend some of their Christmas break with him. What can I do? Jim: Coming ...

Listen to veterans; be more transparent

Your View

Hoo-rah for Commandant’s Oujiri announcement to not make any changes to the standard of living for the veterans who are residents in Heinz Hall. His comment about it being a rookie mistake this resident asks what about the other not so much rookies in senior management at IVH? Hmmm? I say ...

Memo to Jared Kushner

Columnists

President Trump’s son-in-law and designated Middle East peace envoy, Jared Kushner, told the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum last weekend that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is key to solving larger goals, such as stopping Iranian aggression and Islamic ...

Ernst is ‘just another tax-and-spend Republican’

Your View

I recently received a newsletter from Sen. Ernst regarding the Trump tax cuts and am distressed by both the bill and her comments. First, she cited the Tax Foundation estimate of “middle-income Iowa families receiving roughly $2,600 in after-tax income” as a reason to vote for the ...

Brian Ross Should Be Fired

Columnists

When you’re the source for “breaking news” but it turns out to be “faking news,” you’re in trouble. ABC News “chief investigative correspondent” Brian Ross reported on retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller by claiming that Flynn is ...

Grassley is tone-deaf on the issues

Your View

Heard on the news that Chuck Grassley said if you give a tax break to the middle class they will spend that tax break on booze, women and movies, whereas the wealthy will spend the money wisely. What work does Grassley do? 84-year-old Grassley gets more than $100,000 in taxpayers’ money to ...

Technology and PBL at Miller Middle School

Columnists

The use of Chromebooks at Miller began during the spring of 2014 with the science classes. They were the pilot group of teachers and students who used the devices to dive into their learning. The following fall all students and teachers had the use of these devices in every class. Teachers ...

Our Caribbean Families Are Your Fellow Americans

Columnists

About a month after Hurricane Maria, I stopped at a UPS store to ask if it was still offering a discounted rate to ship supplies to St. Croix. The young manager shook her head even as she answered yes. “We are, through the month. But I don’t understand why we’re helping them when we ...

‘Hurtling’ Republican Tax Bill Actually Serious

Columnists

“The Republican tax bill hurtling through Congress is increasingly tilting the United States tax code to benefit wealthy Americans.” That’s the beginning of a 37-word first sentence in a stage-setting front-page story in The New York Times on the tax bill under consideration in the Senate ...

Trump’s an empty vessel with nothing to say

Columnists

“The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.’ ...

George Washington’s Solution for Sexual Harassment

Columnists

The avalanche of sexual harassment claims, with new ones pouring forth daily, leads me to the wisdom of George Washington’s observation in his farewell address in 1796: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable ...

Budgeting for holiday happiness

Columnists

Dear Dave, My wife and I are trying to improve our finances by living on a budget and following your plan. We’re in the middle of Baby Step 2, so we’re working to pay off everything but our house using the debt snowball. We only bring home about $40,000 a year combined right now, so how ...

Little Rocket Man’s Risky Game

Columnists

In the morning darkness of Wednesday, Kim Jong Un launched an ICBM that rose almost 2,800 miles into the sky before falling into the Sea of Japan. North Korea now has the proven ability to hit Washington, D.C. Unproven still is whether Kim can put a miniaturized nuclear warhead atop that ...

Understanding Republicans

Columnists

It’s important for us to remember that even though President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat, successfully lobbied the nation and eventually signed into law the historic civil rights laws a half-century ago, a higher percentage of congressional Republicans than congressional Democrats voted for ...

Black Self-Sabotage

Columnists

The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful. Let’s look at a recent example of an educational outcome all too common. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored ...