Trump Insults WWII Veterans With Defense Of Neo-Nazis

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Many believed that the defeat of the Nazis in World War ll would consign them to the dustbin of history. However, Trump’s tepid condemnation of the “Unite the Right” Nazi chanting groups this week was taken as a direct endorsement by white nationalist and white supremacist supporters. They see Trump’s equivocation on who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville as support for their racist and hateful agenda. Trump is intentionally insulting the sacrifices that millions of American veterans made to defeat the Nazis in WWll. Over a quarter […]

How “Job-Killing Regulations” That Trump Hates Actually Save Lives

Don’t come knocking on my door looking for support for the Trump administration’s latest effort to get rid of what the president likes to call job-killing regulations. Why? I will answer that question, but first let me tell you about my brother-in-law, Jim. He grew up in Cedar Rapids. He served in the Army in Vietnam and received his business degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Jim was never someone who shied away from hard work. He was always thinking about other people and their needs before he would think about himself. In Vietnam, helicopter gunships were an important […]

Reynolds’ Budget Mismanagement Leading To 41% Tuition Increase

The University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld proposes to raise resident undergraduate tuition by seven percent each year for the next five years. That follows Iowa State’s interim President Ben Allen’s identical recommendation of seven percent each year for the next five years. The plan calls for the base tuition to raise from $7,486 to $10,537, amounting to about a 41% over the next five years for Iowa college students attending Iowa and ISU. That is on top of the five percent increase approved for this fall. Governor Reynolds said Tuesday that Iowa families can’t afford that large an increase. However, she […]

Iowa’s “Black Gold” Is Washing Away

Iowa farmers’ greatest asset is their soil. It’s the amazing productivity of Iowa’s soil that makes our state the agricultural powerhouse in feeding the world. The fertility and yield potential of Iowa topsoil has earned it the title as Iowa’s “black gold.”  Yet, Iowa Republicans don’t want to discuss the undeniable truth that Iowa’s black gold is washing away at ten times the rate of replenishment. Republicans love to brag that they are the true conservatives. How can these self-proclaimed conservatives refuse to acknowledge the disappearance of Iowa’s greatest natural resource? Safeguarding Iowa’s soil should be priority number one for […]

Cedar Rapids Panhandling Ban A Solution To A Nonexistent Problem

The cost of sending kids to college has been climbing faster than people’s incomes. So a Michigan mother’s way of coping with that troubling trend has drawn considerable attention. Her “solution” is worth our examination, given the controversial direction Iowa’s second-largest city is heading. More about that shortly. Lori Truex is a school bus driver in Battle Creek, Mich. Her husband is a factory worker. Their youngest daughter, Kendall, is heading to Michigan State University this fall after spending two years at home while attending community college. Once her bus-driving ended for the summer, Lori Truex’s full-time summer “job” has […]

We’re Not Fools, Senators Grassley And Ernst: Medicaid Is Working

Right now we have a reprieve on behalf of Americans who need and deserve health care. But we know this is just the beginning. Over the past few weeks Iowa Citizen Action Network has been reaching out to Iowans – small business owners, farmers, families, the self-employed, seniors and others – and what we are hearing is that health care is a major concern for them and that the plans being proposed in Washington DC are frightening and are having a destabilizing effect on our communities. So those in Washington can’t fool us. We know that even though Republican Members […]

What The Boy Scouts Deserved To Hear

A do-over. All of us, if we are honest, have wished for the opportunity for a fresh start at something at one time or another. Our president isn’t wired that way — at least not in public — to admit that he would like to take a mulligan and try again on something. I’m no expert on presidential oratory, but I think the president’s speech last week to the National Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of America was a missed opportunity. The speech could have benefited from a do-over. If I were delivering that speech, I would have used a […]

Gulf Coast Dead Zone Expanding As Iowa Fails To Act

A new forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that the annual dead zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico will reach an area of nearly 8,200 square miles this summer, more than 50 percent larger than its average size. This huge dead zone, the size of New Jersey, is directly linked to the excess nutrients flowing in from the Mississippi River watershed. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus flowing in from Midwest agriculture feeds the excessive algae growth that creates the low oxygen levels, creating hypoxia conditions. Iowa is one of ten Midwest states that is identified as a […]

The Privatization Of Public Education From DeVos To Zaun

Republicans ranging from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to Iowa Senators like Brad Zaun have targeted public education as enemy number one. The national Republican agenda is to starve public education of funding, weaken public education unions, destroy educators’ credibility and replace public education institutions with private schools, religious schools and homeschooling. This is a continuation of the nationally coordinated and corporately funded effort led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC ghostwrites these model bills and invites Republican state legislators to their lavish retreats to wine and dine them. Then they persuade them to introduce the ALEC […]

Lack Of Transparency In Police Videos Isn’t Helping With Trust

Much of the relationship between the people and their governments is built on trust. But that relationship is fragile — especially when it appears government is going out of its way to keep the public in the dark. That’s what is occurring in Iowa too often with video recordings made by law enforcement agencies — especially when an officer has taken someone’s life or when an officer’s actions are questioned. The lack of public access to these videos is the central issue that was back in the news last week — and the Iowa Legislature needs to end these unwise […]