203 Days To Go – What Will Get My Vote This Fall

On the day I am writing this there is 203 days to go before the fall elections. On that day Iowans will pick a new governor, determine which party is in control of both the House and Senate in Iowa, participate in determining what the Congress will look like and elect any number of other candidates in down-ballot races. It has become apparent over the last few years that the Republican Party has become substantially more conservative. Personally, I believe that is true but I do not believe that the middle-of-the-road voter in Iowa has gone that direction. In addition […]

My Granddaughter, The March And The Beginning Of Change

At 4:15 am on Friday, March 23, my wife and I drove over and picked up my granddaughter Zoe, 22, and got her to the Des Moines airport for a 6:00 am direct flight to Washington DC to attend the March For Our Lives scheduled for that day. She was accompanied by her friend Madeline, 19. They went in on Friday to talk to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Leadership and to the staff of both Senator’s Grassley and Ernst. I set up the ATF meeting because they are the regulator, and if Congress is to […]

What A Week In Iowa

After reading the paper and listening to the local news regarding the end of Bill Dix’s political career, I am reminded of a quote by John Dalberg-Acton, who wrote a letter to an Anglican Bishop. In it he said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” As we move closer to the 2018 elections, I would urge Democrats to be humble and keep that in mind. For those of you old enough to remember, the Democrats in the mid ‘80s had to live down a similar (and probably worse incident) which made the front page of the Des […]

Something Different With This Gun Safety Movement

I think that the movement to get control of the issue of so many Americans dying of gun violence has now found its voice, just as the # MeToo movement has for woman’s harassment issues. The catalyst here is the recent shooting at the Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I believe that the key difference in Parkland is that students, adolescent kids, are taking up the cause. In my view this is the first time that the lobbying efforts of the NRA has even a chance of being equaled and that is what it will take. Yes, money is […]

A Missed Opportunity At Winter Olympics?

With the Winter Olympics now in full swing and with the North Koreans participating, it seems to me we are losing an opportunity to engage on even a minimalist level. I get the increased sanctions we have put on the North and I even get some of the “good cop/bad cop” posturing of the Trump administration, but what is wrong with the Vice President of the United States shaking the hand, smiling and wishing Kim Yo Jong, sister to the dictator, good health while they were seated almost next to one another during the opening ceremonies? In addition, by Vice […]

Two Big Issues For Democrats To Run On In 2018

What should be the overriding issues to run on for Democrats as we move toward the mid terms? In my humble opinion, there are two key issues above all else Democrats should focus on: healthcare, and the hollowing out of the middle class. Or, in a word, wages. Many articles have been written about American healthcare. Writers compare our system to other countries, talk about our costs being higher then everyone else and complain about unaffordable access. All of that is true. As regards to wages, the American economy is working great for the folks at the top, or more […]

Our Impending Constitutional Crisis

Events have truly heated up in the past few days as the chair and staff of the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have created and then approved releasing a memo on the FBI and their use of FISA warrants in the Russia investigation. It seems to me there is so much “he said, she said” in this debate that the average American has given up trying to figure it out and in most cases has reverted to their respective corners of either believing Fox News or CNN/MSNBC commentary. Even I, who attempt to understand much of it, have a […]

The Top Two Of The Top Ten Things I Want In A President

Recently the Register ran a “Letter to the Editor” I wrote entitled “Ten Attributes We Need in a President.” They were in no particular order and were bi-partisan in nature. Here they are as listed: Be honest. Have empathy. Put your ego on hold. Do not engage in or support “Fake News” Respect the “Rule of Law” Work across both aisles in Congress Respect government employees, many who put their lives on the line for the country Work with other country’s to insure hunger and wars are high priorities to reduce and eliminate Pay attention to the big two issues […]

A Dangerous And Irrational President Takes Us Close To Nuclear War

As Emeritus Chair of the Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations and former board member and officer of the American Committees on Foreign Relations, I have been privileged over many years to hear the best and the brightest experts talk extensively on U.S. foreign policy. It is not news to any readers of this editorial that America has been a steady leader in world affairs since WWII. When President Trump was elected, I worried about his bombastic speaking and how his approach to governance and world affairs might play out. I felt whatever he proposed in domestic policy, whether I […]

A Women’s Movement With Major Implications

Sometimes elections are about movements. In my view, the 2016 election was certainly that. Lots of issues came together to defeat Hillary Clinton, but the rise of a disgruntled white, working class made up of semi-skilled males was the core of the movement. With Hillary writing lengthy policy proposals on tons of issues and her opponent issuing a four-word message, ‘Make America Great Again,” it was going to be a tough road because most marketing experts will tell you the short version always sells better. Those issues plus a little input from the Russians and there you have it. Currently, […]