Don’t Let Foolishness Get Us Into Another War

A scab on the memories of lots of Americans was yanked off the other week with the airing of the first segments of Ken Burns’ new documentary on the Vietnam war. The film brought to life the horrors and heartbreak of Vietnam and those events from 50 years ago that divided our nation like it has been divided few times in U.S. history. Each day’s installment of Burns’ history lesson — coupled with the headlines from that day’s news reports — had me reflecting on the current tensions with North Korea, on the rhetoric coming from our president and dictator […]

About Those 10 Reasons On Cassidy-Graham, Senator Grassley

At stake is health care access for millions, including people with pre-existing conditions. Surely these would be at the top of any list of concerns about Cassidy-Graham. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa has made the point himself: The Cassidy-Graham bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has many deficiencies. “I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill should not be considered,” he told Iowa reporters. So, let’s look at some of the reasons, on the merits, why people might have concerns about Cassidy-Graham. People with pre-existing conditions would lose access to health care. Protection of these people […]

Iowa Environmental Protection Commission Punts Over New Rules

The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) is a panel of nine citizens who are supposed to provide public policy oversight of Iowa’s environmental protection efforts. At their September 18th meeting they had an opportunity to pass major improvements in the rules governing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Instead, they punted by voting no for any new modifications in the current inadequate guidelines. They chose to kick the can down the road rather than grabbing the initiative to clean-up Iowa’s impaired waters, protect local communities and stand in support of local control. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) and Food & […]

Equifax, Tell Us About Burdensome Regulations

The biggest under-reported news event from the past two weeks involves a crime of gigantic proportions that directly affects about half of the people living in the United States. Of course, Melania Trump’s choice of footwear for a trip to hurricane-ravaged Texas a few days earlier attracted as much, or more, media coverage. But I digress. Equifax Inc. announced on Sept. 7 that hackers had busted into its computer system. This isn’t just some random corporation, even though most people probably do not recognize its name. The company is the second largest consumer credit reporting business in the United States. […]

Kim Reynolds Backs ACA Repeal Plan That Would Hurt Iowans

Republicans love to brag that they don’t believe in choosing winners and losers. The latest Obamacare repeal bill picks winners and losers and Iowa would be a major loser. The Graham-Cassidy repeal plan will specifically penalize Iowa. Yet, Governor Reynolds endorsed Graham-Cassidy, saying, “[It] can work for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.” The Senate must bring it to a vote by September 30, so they are expected to bring it to a vote next week. Once again we must organize and call both Senator Ernst and Grassley and demand they vote against this bill. We killed the last bill […]

Republican Legislators’ Union-Busting Election Scheme

The 2017 Republican-controlled legislature’s destruction of the bargaining rights of public union workers should leave no question about the motives of the Iowa Republican Party. Their 2016 Iowa Republican Platform specifically calls for the “elimination of all public sector unions” in Iowa. Republicans’ successful passage of the most devastating union-busting bills in Iowa history in 2017 is the first step in fulfilling their platform pledge. The consequences of that anti-worker legislation are about to be realized as unions struggle to re-certify in the next few months. The future ability of unions to represent their members will be decided as union […]

Apple Chose Iowa. So Why The Handout, Governor?

Why would Governor Reynolds and the Iowa GOP think they need to bribe Apple to come to Iowa? Apple was likely coming to Iowa anyway because of Iowa’s combination of cheap and green energy. Iowa is one of the few states that offers these two essential resources Apple demands. Iowa leads the nation in developing the cheap, renewable wind energy that Apple and most of the major high tech companies require. Iowa is not only the current leader in providing clean wind energy, it is on track to be the national leader for years to come. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook […]

Iowa’s Problem With Openness And Public Records Law

When is Iowa going to catch up with the rest of the nation? Every week or two, another case makes headlines around the United States when a police officer acts in a way that many people find troubling. Typically, within a few weeks, police video of the incident is released so the public can evaluate the officer’s actions. The latest example occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah, when a police officer manhandled and arrested a nurse in a hospital emergency department. The incident was recorded on two police officers’ body cameras, and the video has triggered outrage across the nation. […]

How The Steak Fry Made Its Comeback

Former Senator Harkin’s annual Steak Fry was a Democratic political institution in Iowa for nearly 40 years. It had a national appeal as it drew presidential candidates to Iowa for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. More importantly, it was the glue that held Iowa Democrats together. Iowa Democrats saw their party election fortunes rise and fall through all those political cycles, but they could always depend on the steady and focused leadership of Senator Tom Harkin. As they battled for wins and suffered losses locally and nationally, Senator Harkin was always at the helm guiding the party. The Harkin Steak Fry was […]

“Not One Penny” Campaign Targets Young And Blum On Trump Tax Cuts

A number of progressive groups have partnered with the new “Not One Penny” campaign. The focus will be to block Trump and the Republicans’ promised tax cuts. Following the success in stopping the repeal of Obamacare, these liberal organizations are moving to stop the second Trump initiative to cut taxes. The group’s pledge and theme is, “Not one Penny in tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and wealthy corporations.” The groups that are uniting under the “Not One Penny” banner include TaxMarch, Indivisible, MoveOn, Working Families and Stand Up America. The campaign kicked off in early August and conducted rallies around […]