Iowa GOP Water Bill Is Just A Drop In The Bucket

The good news is that Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republican legislators are finally waking up to Iowa’s contaminated water emergency. The bad news is their solution is too little and too late. The environmental alarm has been ringing for years but they plugged their ears and refused to act. While they loitered, Iowa’s number of impaired water bodies grew to over 750. While they stalled, Iowa’s beaches were closed due to dangerous bacterial levels. While they made excuses, Iowa has seen the number of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) multiply and spread like the plague across Iowa without adequate […]

“Trial Of The Century” – Children’s Climate Change Lawsuit Vs. Trump

The Trump Administration is desperately trying to prevent a climate change trial scheduled for February 2018. His administration is getting sued by Our Children’s Trust and the group Earth Guardians. This climate change lawsuit has the potential to expose Trump and his EPA Director, Scott Pruitt as climate change denying frauds. It will pit Trump, Pruitt and their climate change denying hucksters vs. the world’s scientific community. This climate change trial could rival the infamous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. Just as the Scopes trial was a battle over the science of evolution, the climate change trial will be the battle […]

Imagine 2020: A Christmas Story

I know it seems a long way off, but I am an optimist, so put on your 3D glasses and go to the movies with me, here is what I see (or generally hope to see). It is a review of what politics and the presidency might look like after the 2020 elections. It’s not utopia, but it’s pretty good and even possibly attainable. A new president (I am non-partisan in this exercise, so it could be someone like Mitt Romney or a mirror image of Bush 1, not Bush 2 in this dream) has just been elected. Point being, […]

The GOP Tax Plan Is Coming To Iowa Next

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist set the tax goal for Republicans, when he made this memorable quote. “I just want to shrink government down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” The Iowa Republican Party is lining up their allies, including the Koch Brothers, to push an Iowa tax scam that potentially can do just that. Koch Brothers have spent $10 million promoting the federal Republican tax cut bill. The House and Senate both passed separate versions and now it must go to conference for completion. Following the successful passage of the two versions […]

Don’t Forget The Stranger In Need On DACA Effort

Each summer at schools across Iowa, a new batch of kindergartners heads in the front door for the first time. Not surprisingly, there are occasional tears. Some flow from the new students who are apprehensive about what may await them inside. Some come from the parents who are emotional about this milestone in their young children’s lives. When the 2016-2017 academic year was concluding last spring, there were more tears, this time from an unexpected source — a 23-year-old man. The scene that occurred at Hilton Coliseum in Ames in May carries a special message that should remind us all […]

Reynolds Using An Auto Rating Company To Sell Iowans A Medicaid Lemon

In a desperate search for any good news about her Medicaid privatization debacle, Governor Kim Reynolds is depending on a flawed Medicaid survey done by J. D. Power. Best known as a car rating company, Reynolds is holding up the J. D. Power survey to justify the mismanagement of her health care crisis. She claimed in an August press release that Iowa Medicaid patients’ satisfaction level ranks second highest in the nation based on the J. D. Power survey. It’s very clear J.D. Power’s online survey of a few Iowa Medicaid enrollees wouldn’t pass any credible test of reliability. The […]

A Bad Bill And A Senator Who Has Lost His Way

There is one thing I know for sure, and that is the decline in the middle class earning power is a real, possibly the greatest, threat to our democracy. That slow but steady erosion has put the middle class looking for scape goats and it, in a negative way, affects immigration policy, hurts race relations, champions neo-Nazis and changes our politics to create tribalism. There are numerous reasons Trump is president but at least one small bit was due to Clintons comment about “deplorables.” I was a supporter of hers, but really took offense at that comment. Thank God she […]

Grassley: “Appreciate” The Wealthy Over Those Who Live “Day To Day”

I try not to yell at the radio. I don’t like to scare passengers in my car or passing drivers. I try to stay calm. But I wasn’t just shouting when I heard Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s interview with National Public Radio host Robert Siegel on “All Things Considered” Thursday evening. I went clear through to stomping in anger. The topic, of course, was the giveaway to the wealthy that was careening through the Senate like a runaway garbage truck. Throughout the five-minute interview, Grassley either lied or deflected questions with non-sequiturs. What really sent my blood pressure up, however, […]

Steve King Says His Christmas Will Be Ruined Without Looser Gun Laws

Here’s a great Christmas gift idea from the GOP and Iowa’s nutty Republican Congressman Steve King. This week the House Judiciary Committee debated and passed a massive gun expansion bill, “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.” The Republicans want to give gun owners a huge gift by expanding their ability to use their concealed-carry permits in all states. The GOP wants to force those states where it’s currently illegal to accept gun owners carrying their guns in from other states. Congressman King, always swinging for the outrageous, complained that restricting guns will “ruin the King Christmas.” During the conceal-carry debate […]

Simplifying The Big Numbers In Government Spending

Back in my working days, back when I supervised The Des Moines Register’s business news staff, one of the columnists confessed to our readers that he had trouble balancing his checkbook. My boss didn’t think a business columnist had any business making such a confession. But the columnist was only admitting what many people, if they are truthful, could admit — and that’s their own challenges with mathematics. The experts call this math anxiety. At the risk of sending you scurrying to get away from your own childhood phobias over long division, this is an excellent time to dig into […]