Opinion

The Emmy Awards tilt to the left

Columnists

On July 26, the News and Documentary Emmy Award nominations were announced, and PBS topped the list with 45 nominations. CBS led the broadcast networks with 31 nods, followed by CNN and HBO with 22 each, and ABC with 20. MSNBC got 5. Vice News got nine. Al-Jazeera International USA got five. ...

Profile of the next mass shooter

Columnists

The news alerts us to another mass shooting at (fill in the blank). A school, a theater, on a busy street or at a shopping mall and we shake our heads in disbelief. What’s the toll this time — five dead? Ten? Twenty? Who would do such a heartless thing? And, isn’t there a way to stop sick ...

Trump hates journalists but not for the reason he claims

Columnists

Last week, CNN Washington correspondent Ryan Nobles tweeted about a random encounter with a member of the public: “This rarely happens so I thought it was worth documenting. Gentleman stops me at the hotel where the press are staging covering POTUS — asks if I’m part of the press corps. I ...

Will the trend of low birth rates be reversed?

Columnists

Sometimes a society’s values change sharply with almost no one noticing, much less anticipating the consequences. In 1968, according to a Gallup survey, 70 percent of American adults said that a family of three or more children was “ideal” — about the same number as Gallup surveys ...

Less Communist Cuba

Columnists

While self-proclaimed “democratic socialists” win Democratic primaries in America, actual socialists in Cuba are finally backing away from some of the ideas that kept Cubans poor. Sunday, Cuba’s National Assembly approved a draft of a new constitution that recognizes a right to own ...

Some ideas to think about

Columnists

Poverty is no mystery, and it’s easily avoidable. The poverty line that the Census Bureau used in 2016 for a single person was an income of $12,486 that year. For a two-person household, it was $16,072, and for a four-person household, it was $24,755. To beat those poverty thresholds is ...

The road to hell is paved with…straws?

Columnists

In parts of California now, a person can go into a public park, shoot up heroin, throw the used syringe on the sidewalk, walk into the street and then poop in the highway — all without consequence. But the moment that person pulls out a plastic straw and places it into a cup of God knows ...

Sombra, rescue dog of my dreams

Columnists

Dear Sombra, So you’re the German shepherd so good at sniffing out stashes of cocaine that drug traffickers in Colombia want you dead. Your story — how your laser-guided snout helped the Colombian National Police seize at least 9 tons of drugs, leading to 245 arrests — has gone ...

Did tariffs make America great?

Columnists

“Make America Great Again!” will, given the astonishing victory it produced for Donald Trump, be recorded among the most successful slogans in political history. Yet it raises a question: How did America first become the world’s greatest economic power? In 1998, in “The Great ...

Nobody knows who the 2020 presidential nominees will be, but …

Columnists

As was wisely observed inside the world of renowned philosopher Peter Pan, “All this has happened before, and it will all happen again.” Never is that more true than when American voters choose our presidential nominees. Recall 1976, when, after the criminality, corruption and involuntary ...

Democrats, take note: ‘Normal’ isn’t coming back

Columnists

Smack them with their own bat. That was the gist of, “Hey Democrats, Fighting Fair is for Suckers,” a provocative jeremiad that Politico ran on Independence Day. In it, writer Rob Goodman argued that, after Republicans have killed all the old political norms — denying a Supreme Court ...

Taste of Central Iowa

Columnists

Last week’s column was submitted before the catastrophe that hit Marshalltown. So, this week know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Chicken Enchiladas 1 (8 oz.) container lite sour cream 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup 1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, ...

Ernst and Grassley Democrats?

Your View

Please tell me, has Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley become Democrats? Watching C-SPAN and the news, Ernst and Grassley have become President Trump’s biggest critics. Did Ernst and Grassley vote for Trump who they are bellyaching about now?

We will recover if we are MARSHALLTOWN STRONG

Our View

July 19, 2018 will be a day for Marshalltown history books. On that day, an EF-3 tornado destroyed some of the most important parts of our town: homes, local businesses, large employers and city buildings. The city will never be the same. The beautiful drive down Main Street is forever ...

Obama’s words on identity politics better late than never

Columnists

“Democracy demands that we’re able to also get inside the reality of people who are different than us, so we can understand their point of view. Maybe we can change their minds, maybe they’ll change ours.” That was Barack Obama speaking in South Africa on the 100th anniversary of ...

It sounded like a freight train

Tornado Recovery

It was late in the afternoon on July 19. It was a hot and humid day. I decided to head to the library after work, this was my normal routine. I let my parents know so they could pick me up after work. I was on the city bus just pulling up to get off. I noticed it was completely clear outside. I ...

Helsinki hath no fury like a nation scorned

Columnists

Surely, now, we can concede that letting Trump be Trump has exhausted itself — even among the smugly credulous. For a year and a half, we’ve heard his supporters say: Watch what he does, not what he says. Sure, he’s rude and crude, they said, but he’s going to make America great ...

Thrives on neglectful behavior

Columnists

"Thrives on neglect." This was the sign posted under a tray of cactuses and other succulents sold at a local farmers market. My friend had posted the picture to her social media as a statement of our times. How disgusting that "neglect" is now a selling point. But all I thought was, "Hot dog, ...

Trump is using tariffs to advance a radical free-trade agenda

Columnists

WASHINGTON — Give President Trump credit. When he chastised NATO allies over their failure to spend adequately on our common defense, his critics said he was endangering the Atlantic alliance. Instead, his tough stance persuaded allies to spend billions more on defense, strengthening NATO ...