Commentary

COVID-19 outbreak: We’re in a crisis. Let’s not waste it.

BY: - March 13, 2020

Shortly after President Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, you might remember, then White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel got into a bit of hot water when he observed to an interviewer, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” A decade-and-a-half ago, America was in the throes of The Great Recession, and […]

Three tickets? Super Tuesday offers clues to Iowa caucuses’ relevance

BY: - March 9, 2020

After a month of hand-wringing over the delayed results of the Iowa Caucuses, you may not want to hear this.  But we are still months away from knowing the caucuses’ full impact on the presidential race. This isn’t about the future of the caucuses or the glitches, errors and snafus that have put that future […]

Easy ethics, hard choices

BY: - February 26, 2020

Few things in life come with clear, concise and reliable instructions. Babies do not; they arrive without warning, and you need a library to raise them. Instructions change with each generation. All self-help genres — how to marry, divorce, get well, get rich, get smart, eat better, stay fit — require new editions. That is […]

This is no way to run a democracy

BY: - February 25, 2020

The results of Iowas first-in-the-nation presidential caucus are not yet in. The Nevada caucus results are not clear two days after. It doesn’t really matter. Iowa’s tiny number of national delegates and who gets them will make a difference only if the vote is close at the national convention and no one has a majority. […]

Reynolds will have to fight GOP for sales tax plan

BY: - February 24, 2020

The centerpiece of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ 2020 legislative agenda — a water-quality and mental-health funding scheme and income tax cut driven by a 1-cent sales tax increase — seems to be bogged down in the GOP-controlled House and Senate. The question is: How hard is the governor willing to fight for her plan? Differences […]

Iowa, please make it easier for college students to vote

BY: - February 21, 2020

As Vote Everywhere Ambassadors with The Andrew Goodman Foundation, we work regularly with students at Simpson College in Indianola to make the ballot more accessible. To live the legacy of Andrew Goodman, a young civil rights worker who was murdered registering black Americans to vote during 1964’s Freedom Summer, we do everything from conducting voter […]

I won’t apologize for defending my abortion

BY: - February 20, 2020

Two weeks ago, I sat across a table from a legislative subcommittee of three Iowa lawmakers shaking and holding back tears as I laid bare what should have been my private medical history. The binges and purges. A suicide attempt at age 12. The crippling depression and anxiety that continued to follow me, and the […]

LGBT flags

Iowa must ban ‘conversion therapy’ that harms LGBTQ youth

BY: - February 19, 2020

As a physician, the number of youth I have seen in my profession who identify as LGBTQ has steadily increased over the past decade. I am grateful every time a young person trusts me with this personal information. Knowing a client is LGBTQ not only helps me build a stronger relationship with them as their […]

Top Democrats: New state party chairman faces difficult task

BY: - February 17, 2020

Democratic state Rep. Mark Smith had some plans for when he retired from the Iowa Legislature. He was going travel, take some bicycle trips and spend time in a cabin on his 93-year-old mother’s farm in southern Iowa. Instead, Smith, 68, was elected chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party on Saturday.  “Some of them will […]

Iowa soybean farmers build their brand during trade mission to Bangladesh, Pakistan

BY: - February 14, 2020

Ask any brand about the importance of marketing, and they’ll promptly reply that understanding the needs and wants of the customer is the first and most essential step to making a sale. That surely holds true for soybeans. Despite a recent thawing of trade friction with China, U.S. soybean exports to the world’s top buyer […]

Let’s not just mourn the caucuses. Let’s make Iowa a national model for civic engagement

BY: - February 10, 2020

Reentry into regular life after the Iowa caucuses can be challenging, even when it doesn’t take four days to report results. One Iowa political reporter texted me and some other friends just before 6 p.m. Friday: “What do people do when they’re done with work at this time of day? Asking for a friend.” I […]

Students hold up tall, vertical signs with the names of presidential candidates.

The Iowa Caucuses encourage an educated, engaged citizenry that society needs

BY: - February 9, 2020

I come to praise the Iowa Caucuses, not to bury them. Oh, I’m relieved that they are over for 2020, despite the ignominious way they slunk off the public stage. But as an educator, I’d argue that the caucuses, for all their faults, are a wonderful model for, and encouragement of, engaged citizenry and civil […]