Will Hurricane Harvey Finally Convince GOP On Climate Change?

Some of the adjectives used to describe Hurricane Harvey: unprecedented disaster, catastrophic losses, all-time record breaking rainfall, economic calamity, biblical flooding, unparalleled devastation. When rainfall totals reach 50 inches and meteorologists talk about 500 and 1,000 year floods, it’s clear this isn’t what most of us think of as normal weather conditions. This storm isn’t normal. It’s growing proof that the climate warning alarm is ringing loudly, and we can’t allow ignorant and foolish Republican politicians to deny reality any longer. Hurricanes and rain events aren’t new weather conditions, but the increasing frequency and destructive power of storms is a […]

Open Letter To Rod Blum: Divest Your Fossil Fuel Investments

An open letter to Congressman Rod Blum from a 1st District constituent:  Congressman Blum, at your Cedar Rapids town hall in May you told the crowd politicians’ financial disclosure forms reveal more than their tax returns. On that advice, I scrutinized your financial disclosure forms and my jaw dropped. How many of your constituents know that are worth over $15 million? Some rich people – Warren Buffett, Bill Gates – invest in good causes and give away lots of money. So what are you investing your money in? According to your financial disclosure forms, since elected to Congress you purchased between […]

Trump’s Pardon Of Racist Buddy Arpaio Is Clear Abuse Of Power

It should come as no surprise that Trump would reward ex-Sheriff Arpaio with the get-out-of-jail-free pardon. They have been attached at the hip since their partnership in their looney birther crusade about President Obama’s birth place. President Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio have both used the same hateful, racist and anti-immigrant bombast for years. The difference is that Trump has inflamed anti-immigrant rhetoric while Sheriff Arpaio put into practice the abusive and discriminatory racial profiling that Trump has lauded. Arpaio once boasted that his “Tent City” prison was operated as his personal “concentration camp.” Arpaio was convicted of using abusive […]

Senate Must Reject Unqualified Conspiracy Theorist Sam Clovis

President Trump has nominated the right-wing radio host, Sam Clovis as the top scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Clovis, who is from Sioux City, served as Trump’s co-chairman and adviser on agricultural issues. He’s a former college economics professor and conservative talk radio host. Senators’ Grassley and Ernst serve on the Senate Agricultural Committee that will hold confirmation hearings on Clovis. The primary qualification for the Chief Scientist at the USDA is a science background. The 2008 Farm Bill established the Under Secretary Chief Scientist position. The Bill specifically calls for the appointee to have an […]

Confederate Statues Are Monuments To White Supremacy

President Trump was perverting history in his defense of Confederate monuments. In his rambling comparison of neo-Nazi groups and the opposition protestors, he twisted history.  He claimed in numerous tweets that by defending these monuments he was defending history.  In his tweets, President Trump compared the nation’s founding fathers to the rebels that attempted to dissolve the Union. “You’re changing history. You’re changing culture… Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You…can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall […]

Iowa On Another Wild Goose Chase With Tax Incentives

The State of Iowa is again chasing a major employer for more jobs using massive tax incentives.  The lure of 4,000 automobile manufacturing jobs with a new Toyota plant has Iowa Economic Development officials salivating to compete with Texas and Mississippi that could require a package costing state and local taxpayers over $500 million. At the same time, Governor Kim Reynolds and the GOP legislature are in denial that extravagant corporate giveaways have decimated government services from health care to education. It seems that every government job to provide services to our children and seniors is worthless and only jobs in the […]

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 […]