Iowa’s Sexual Harassment Problem Starts At The Top, Too

Iowa Senate Republicans’ disgusting sexual harassment behavior cost you as an Iowa taxpayer $1.75 million. That was the settlement reached to end a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Kirsten Anderson, the former Communication Director for the Iowa Senate Republicans. That payment ended the lawsuit but it shouldn’t end the investigation of Senator Bill Dix. Dix is the Senate Republican Majority Leader responsible for providing a safe and harassment-free work environment in the Senate offices. Anderson sued claiming she was fired because she complained about continuing sexual harassment and the toxic work environment in the Republican senate offices. Dix has never […]

How Many Iowans Must Die Before Reynolds Reverses Medicaid Privatization?

This week the Des Moines Register reported another Iowan on Medicaid died following refusal of Medicaid providers to pay for adequate care. Her nursing home’s decision to refuse accepting Medicaid patients on ventilators would require her to move 90 miles from Des Moines. The Register reported, “the Fleur Heights nursing home blames insufficient and untimely payments from Iowa’s Medicaid program” for their inability to afford to take patients on ventilators in the future. There are only six of Iowa’s 417 nursing homes remaining that will accept ventilator patients. The family had moved their loved one into a temporary facility at […]

Reasons To Raise The Minimum Wage, From Both The Right And Left

For some time, both across the nation and recently in Iowa, the issue of raising the minimum wage has been hotly debated. Although the Iowa General Assembly has failed to ac – and working to stop it all together – it looks like Polk County and other parts of the state believe differently. Traditionally the debate has pitted the political left, in favor, vs. the political right, opposed.  That is actually a misnomer, and although almost all on the left are in favor, there are few on the right who also think it is a good idea for possibly different […]

A One-Word Concept That Can Help The Democrats Win Again

There are times in a person’s life when an epiphany occurs that changes the way one thinks about events or even life itself. I had such an occurrence in the summer of 2015, which revamped my thinking on all sorts of issues. It occurred over dinner with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, currently head of the George Bush School of Government at Texas A&M. The Ambassador was in Des Moines to speak to the Des Moines Committee on Foreign Relations of which I was chairman at the time (now Emeritus). The Ambassador’s Foreign Service career stretched over 37 years. During that period […]

Did Senator Corker Open The Door For Trump’s Exit?

Republican Senator Bob Corker is raising serious concerns about President Trump’s stability and mental balance to continue to serve as President. If Senator Corker was a Democrat warning about Trump’s disturbing behavior, it would be dismissed as purely partisan politics. If Senator Corker was alone in speaking publicly about Trump’s abnormal behavior, it might be dismissed as Corker’s frustration. However, it’s not just Senator Corker going public with his concerns about Trump’s stability to govern. The increasing urgent alarms are coming from other Republicans, Trump’s former friends and perhaps most importantly, from Trump’s closest Whitehouse advisors. There is a building […]

President Trump’s Lack Of Empathy On Puerto Rico Risking Lives

When you look at the world around us — with its hatred and bitterness, with its disagreements and divisiveness — the quality most lacking today is empathy. We find it difficult, if not impossible, to put ourselves in each other’s shoes and see events and issues from their perspective. Whether we realize it or not, all of us are guilty of this at some time or another — the D’s, the R’s and the independents. All of us have too much of the it’s-our-way-or-the-highway mentality. Some of us grumble about the football players taking a knee during the National Anthem. […]

That’s Loyalty For You. Trump Backstabs Reynolds On Stopgap Plan

The Washington Post reported last week that President Trump intentionally torpedoed Governor Kim Reynolds’ proposed stopgap insurance plan for 72,000 Iowans. The stopgap insurance plan requires a waiver from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), so Governor Reynolds and Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley urged Trump to approve the plan. It appears that President Trump not only ignored these three Iowa Republicans, he personally called the CMS and demanded CMS specifically reject Reynolds’ proposal. President Trump is not only punishing Iowans, he is intentionally humiliating Reynolds, Ernst and Grassley who have lobbied for the stopgap plan. The […]

Iceland’s Energy Self-Sufficiency: Others Do It, So Why Not Iowa?

My wife, Toni, and I just returned from a trip that included a tour of a geothermal plant in Iceland. It is the third largest geothermal plant in the world that uses super hot water from deep wells to drive steam turbines. It is one of seven such facilities in Iceland and generates 300 megawatts of electrical energy.  Iceland is an island country the size of England with population smaller than the Des Moines metro area.  Most of the people live within the urbanized area of the capital city, Reykjavik. Iceland is totally energy self-sufficient with 30% from geothermal plants and […]

Half Of GOP’s New Tax Cuts Would Go To Iowa’s Wealthiest 1%

This long-awaited national Republican tax cut plan is nothing more than the recycling of Reagan’s failed “trickle-down economics” tax cut plan. Also known as supply side economics, President George H.W. Bush called it “voodoo” economics. The premise of Reaganomics was based on tax cuts for the rich that moved massive amounts of cash to those at the top while taking it from the bottom. The thoroughly repudiated theory promised big tax cuts for the richest Americans would stimulate economic growth. David Stockman, President Reagan’s Budget Director, once the champion of Reagnomics now admits, “ Reaganomics … Supply Side Economics and […]

Did Kim Reynolds “Cook The Books” On State Budget?

Governor Reynolds’ continuing budget crisis is raising additional questions regarding her administration’s basic lack of competence in managing the state’s finances. The Governor’s lack of transparency and accountability in dealing with her budget mess is contributing to growing suspicions that the fix is in. It was nearly certain in June that Reynolds would need to call the Legislature back this fall for a special session to fix the budget. That would likely be a tough political move since it would indicate she isn’t capable of controlling the state’s budget. A special legislative session would open up a much broader public […]