The cost of degrading minimum-wage workers

BY: - March 28, 2023

“If you don’t shut up and pay attention, you’ll be flipping burgers for the rest of your life,” was a frequent outburst from my elementary school teacher in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Teaching reluctant 10-year-olds how to do long division without a calculator probably wasn’t the focal point of that man’s career. However, today, I question […]

Workplace law changes would make for lost, dangerous Iowa childhoods, Council Bluffs labor leaders, parents, say

BY: - March 27, 2023

Council Bluffs — Labor leaders, parents and Council Bluffs community members say proposed radical changes to Iowa’s child-labor laws would redefine what it means to be a kid in the state, placing young people in jeopardy while driving down wages for adults amid the tumult of a worker shortage. From Keokuk to Council Bluffs, and […]

Will GOP senators defy Iowa voters to protect unpopular pipelines?

BY: - March 27, 2023

We may learn this week who Iowa Senate Republicans fear most: The governor and the ethanol industry or the Farm Bureau and the voters. The pivotal issue is about pipelines. The majority Republicans in the Iowa Senate need to decide this week what to do about legislation to increase landowners’ power over encroachment by liquid […]

The reward for higher education should not be a lifetime of debt

BY: - March 26, 2023

Those who are thinking of entering college, those who are already there and even those who have graduated might want to review their notes on the political theory of an Englishman by the name of John Locke. Locke is credited as one of the writers who laid the foundation and justification for the American’s rebellion […]

Why we need cameras in federal courts

BY: - March 19, 2023

It is high time the federal judiciary got over itself and joined the 20th century, much less the 21st. Here we are some 70 years after the invention of television, and our federal court system still operates behind a black curtain that keeps all of us from better understanding the critical decisions being made that affect […]

Drowning public schools in the bathtub to promote GOP ideology

BY: - March 18, 2023

Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform told National Public Radio in 2001, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Republicans have been remarkably successful at reducing government effectiveness since […]

Trump may be betting too much on the farm

BY: - March 17, 2023

So, Donald Trump thinks playing the farm card is his ace in the hole in Iowa. He might want to rethink that hand. At the Adler Theatre in Davenport this week, Trump targeted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for opposing ethanol and the former president claimed to be the savior of the American farm. “How could a […]

Iowa is out of step on public access to police video

BY: - March 15, 2023

Every few months, someone is killed or injured by police somewhere in the United States under circumstances that lead to inevitable questions about what exactly occurred. Typically, answers come when video from the law officers’ squad car cameras or their uniform cameras is made public. Each time this occurs, there are two inescapable conclusions: First, […]

The donkey lives! Iowa Democrats are doing more than listening

BY: - March 14, 2023

There’s an old story about a minister who wanted his parishioners to think more deeply about the hereafter. One Sunday morning when all were gathered in their pews, he called three men to the front of the church and asked them to turn and face the congregation. He then said to the three, “Imagine you […]

GOP principles go up in smoke at the Iowa Statehouse

BY: - March 13, 2023

Republicans in the Iowa Legislature like to talk about their bedrock principles. This year, those principles seem to be printed on tissue paper and every new bill lights another match. I wrote a whole column last week about how Statehouse Republicans, despite their repeated declarations of trust for parents, are working to eliminate choices for […]

The Juarez family left everything behind in Greene County, including some lessons

BY: - March 12, 2023

JEFFERSON, Iowa – We thought we were doing all the right things in trying to help the Juarez family find food, a home, jobs and to start settling-in here. Then they left. No phone call, no text, no email, no written note.  And there’s been no contact from them in the month that’s passed since their […]

Disasters happen when businesses put profits above people

BY: - March 11, 2023

My heart goes out to the people of East Palestine, Ohio. Their world was upended last month when 11 Norfolk Southern Railway cars containing hazardous chemicals careened off the track. A controlled venting created a toxic gas plume threatening the health and safety of its population of 4,700. This past week, the Bipartisan Railway Safety […]