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Columnists

Will more blacks vote Republican?

As we churn through primary season, laying the framework for November’s elections, we’re seeing the emergence of a new face of the Democratic Party — more progressive, more left wing. The Democratic Party is delivering more candidates around the nation like Stacey Abrams, recently ...

Danger of authoritarianism may come from center, not right

“Across Europe and North America, centrists are the least supportive of democracy, the least committed to its institutions and the most supportive of authoritarianism.” So wrote political researcher David Adler in The New York Times after analyzing responses to two multi-country surveys on ...

We already knew this about Roseanne Barr

It was the fall of 1989. Or maybe the following spring. I remember the rising heat in the room but not the season outside the windows. I was one of the few non-lawyers in the packed house, feeling conspicuous in my bright new blazer. I kept catching myself swaying as if my baby were on my ...

Immigration policy, nasty and ineffectual

President Trump’s sound and fury on immigration has delivered close to nothing. Trump never lets up, thundering against “illegal aliens” as a criminal class while pushing his enforcers to treat the impoverished ones without mercy. But actually, illegal immigration is again rising — and ...

The media’s double standards

Roseanne Barr, on Twitter, compared Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to an ape. Given the long history of racists in this country comparing black people to apes, claiming Roseanne’s remark was not racist is something the fringe might debate, but decent people agree on. The remark was racist and ...

Is America’s racial divide permanent?

For Roseanne Barr, star of ABC’s hit show “Roseanne,” there would be no appeal. When her tweet hit, she was gone. “Roseanne’s Twitter statement, is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” declaimed Channing Dungey, the black ...

Gerald Ford: The accidental president who wore power lightly

WASHINGTON — Within 17 days in the autumn of 1975 — first in Sacramento, then in San Francisco — two separate handgun-wielding women attempted to assassinate the president. Had either succeeded, and each was close enough to have done so, the nation would have had a third president in 14 ...

Colleges are not responsible for Your child’s well-being

Across the nation, parents are in the process of either welcoming their college kids home for the summer or making preparations to send them off to college in the fall. Some will be letting go of their children for the first time, excited and anxious about the next chapter of life. Let this be ...

Putin’s mind in your brain

WASHINGTON — Facebook ads purchased by Russia during the 2016 campaign, and released by Congress earlier this month, reveal a clear intent to create havoc in the U.S. -- and should make Americans both wary and embarrassed. They also sent a clear message to Americans compliments of Russian ...

Hot dog season opens

Even though it isn’t officially summer, it is the season for hot dogs. So, today I have some frankfurter recipes. Frankfurters Sweet and Sour Style 1 onion 1 green pepper 1 lb. frankfurters 2 tomatoes 4 Tbsp. butter 1 (9 oz.) can pineapple chunks 2 Tbsp. cornstarch 1/4 c. ...

This time the joke was on Roseanne

I told you so. I’m sorry, maybe that’s petty, but I can’t help it. For over a month now, I’ve felt like a man caught in a feedback loop, doomed to joust till the end of time with readers upset with me for writing that I would boycott the hit reboot of Roseanne Barr’s eponymous ...

Immigrant group faces great barrier in college admissions

Asian-Americans are among the most successful groups in the United States, but we often forget the discrimination they faced in getting where they are, as well as the challenges they still endure. No immigrant group faced as great a barrier to entry into the United States as Asians did. ...

Reading history, battling grumpiness

What Jim has learned today … I learned boiling people in oil is bad … very bad … don’t boil anyone in oil. I learned this by reading a book. You too can learn to stop boiling people in oil by simply by reading a book. Not a self-help book like, “How to Stop Boiling People in Oil” by ...

Buddy visits Wilbur Swindler

The letter was addressed to “Buddy Swarm.” It was from 94-year old Wilbur Swindler, of Ottumwa. Wilbur was asking my dog Buddy to come visit, and to “bring Curt and Ginnie.” Wilbur had just completed his patio and back yard and wanted Buddy to come and inspect it. So we did. We ...

Are you ready for a family road trip?

This multiple-choice test will determine if you (“you” being a child under the age of eight) are qualified to take a long road trip with your parents. 1) Prior to departure it’s a good idea to: (a) Neatly pack one small bag and have it ready to go downstairs the night before (b) ...

Trade Winds Shift, Markets Hold Steady

Markets showed a steely resolve in the face of looming trade disputes with our greatest trading partners. This week, President Trump announced that he was going to reinstate tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union. These allies swiftly responded with ...

Democrats’ dishonesty hands Trump a winning issue

WASHINGTON — How evil is MS-13? Last year, two gang members in Texas reportedly murdered a teenage girl as an offering to Satan. According to prosecutors, the gang leader (known as “Diabolico”) told the young girl that “the Beast” wanted “a soul” before having his partner shoot ...

Inside the Iowa House: The Truth About the GOP Tax Bill

In the closing hours of the 2018 session, Republicans rushed through a massive $2.8 billion tax bill with little time to let anyone review the bill or get input from Iowans. This week, Gov. Reynolds signed the bill in to law. Before session began, House Democrats developed three key ...

The suicide of Europe

On Friday, the British police arrested Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the English Defence League, a far-right anti-Islam group. Robinson is a controversial character, to be sure, a sort of Milo Yiannopoulos lite. His chief focus is on the threat of radical Islam, which he believes ...

‘Spygate’ really is ‘worse than Watergate’

Even Donald Trump, a widely acknowledged liar, can stumble onto the truth on occasion. He has done so in saying that his allegation that the FBI “embedded” a “spy” in his 2016 presidential campaign is “worse than Watergate.” Compared to the damage Trump is attempting to impose on ...