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Growth: check; annexation: check; sewage: hmmm

Bettendorf's elected city officials meet this weekend to set goals and land annexation to assure the city's steady northward sprawl will no doubt come up for discussion.

The more pressing issue when it comes to future growth, however, is sewage. Specifically how will the city handle the growing treatment needs for future homes and businesses located more than 20 miles from the Iowa Quad-Cities' only sewage treatment facility?

Trump’s America: A shining outhouse on a hill

When Donald Trump announced he was running for president, I mocked him. “Of the United States?” I asked. (I got a C- in Mockery when I was in college, unfortunately.)

When he jumped into the lead almost immediately, I laughed. “The higher the climb, the harder the fall,” I said. (I did better in Pithy Quotations.)

The passion of Scalia: Had late justice not violated his own philosophy Iraq War may have been avoided

My mother always told me never to speak ill of the dead.

For that reason I won’t go on at length about Antonin Scalia, the recently departed Supreme Court justice. My opinion wouldn’t be worth that much anyway. I didn’t know the man — I was never even in the same room with him.

However, I do find this avalanche of posthumous praise of him as “a judicial giant” and one of the great justices of our history a little gag-inducing.

Somebody will win Iowa caucuses; won't matter much except among political reporters of spectacle

The Iowa caucuses are upon us. Hooray, whoopee, and two cheers.

The contests mark the official beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign, which already feels like it’s been going on for two years (because it has).

Some polls say that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican winner, others that Ted Cruz will be. Still others advise us to keep an eye on Marco Rubio, who’s sneaking up fast.

The 'Year of Trump' – The Donald wasn't the worst thing about 2015, but he was the most irritating

Is 2015 over yet? Is it safe to come out now?

What a bummer. Mass shootings, cops using unarmed civilians for target practice, the Middle East in rubble, terrorist attacks, Donald Trump.

Trump wasn’t the worst of it, perhaps. But he certainly was the most irritating.

It was a spectacle worthy of Tennyson — “Trump to the right of us, Trump to the left of us, Trump in front and behind. Into the valley of Trump rode the 300 million.”

Constitution upgrade alert! New Version 3.0 would align U.S. Constitution with actual practice

The United States was founded on U.S. Constitution Version 1.0 of 1789. Version 2.0, released in 1791, made 10 significant upgrades to protect citizens against viral government overreach.

Since then, Congress and the states have authorized incremental changes, culminating in version 2.27.

However, system administrators authorized in version 1.0 – the executive, legislative and judicial branches – have far exceeded the limitations expressed in the Version 2.0 Bill of Rights.

Bettendorf municipal debt margin drops, but decline has little to do with reining in capital spending

Bettendorf's elected officials must be getting the message from constituents about the city's sky-high debt.

No, they haven't reined in their free-spending ways; the city just issued another $10.2 million in general obligation (GO) bonds.

But they have figured out how to make the city's debt appear smaller to voters, particularly prior to municipal elections.

Martin Shkreli for 'Person of the Year': Symbolizes the year's spirit of lying, cheating and stealing

It’s time — past time, really — to name the person of the year. (TIME Magazine does it. Why not me?)

There were many worthy candidates in 2015: the Pope, the Donald, and Luke Skywalker, to name just a few. But only one symbolized the spirit of the year.

I speak, of course, of Martin Shkreli.

Older Iowans will select GOP candidate in caucuses

Older men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die. - Herbert Hoover

The top tier of Republican presidential candidates trumpeted a march to war during last Tuesday's debate, a call that can only mean boots on the ground.

Those boots will be filled by younger Americans, the ones typically absent from Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses just seven weeks away.

Iowa Partnership for Clean Water ads a smear campaign against Des Moines Water Works head

Editorial reprinted with permission from Des Moines Register, Dec. 10, 2015

It’s time for the Iowa Partnership for Clean Water to consider a name change that more accurately reflects its true mission. For example: The Iowa Partnership for the Malicious Persecution of Public Servants.

The partnership was formed last spring after the Des Moines Water Works sued Sac, Buena Vista and Calhoun counties, alleging their drainage districts are largely responsible for Raccoon River pollution that’s costing central Iowa residents millions in clean-up costs.

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