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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.

Trump rhetoric in Iowa shows disdain for 3C's: Constitution, compromise and consensus

Size matters to Donald Trump.

His wall along the Mexico border will be the biggest, a foot taller than the Great Wall of China, he told Quad-Citians last week.

His wealth dwarfs his opponents’ and their funders'.

Terrorists are the right wing’s best friends

When Paris suffered attacks that killed 17 last January — at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket — it responded with great class.

Parisians filled the streets, locked arm-in-arm in solidarity against terrorism. Leaders from throughout Europe (but not, alas, President Barack Obama) joined them in a show of support.

Same old script for downtown redevelopment; taxpayers should demand a better return

Before Bettendorf aldermen approve another round of taxpayer subsidies for downtown redevelopment, they should take a drive along 53rd Avenue and ask themselves: why are businesses paying top dollar to build along the busy corridor without a nickel from city coffers?

If asked, they will hear why commercial businesses flock to 53rd Avenue and avoid downtown Bettendorf: a location with easy access to residents with moderate to high disposal incomes.

Please don’t shoot the debate moderators

We were treated to a classic man-bites-dog moment at the latest Republican presidential debate.

There the moderators were, CNBC’s finest, lying in ambush with their carefully crafted “when did you stop beating your wife” questions at the ready. But as soon as they tried asking them, the contestants — forgive me, candidates — counter-attacked.

Will the gun carnage never cease?

I’ve written at least 75 columns on gun control over the years. It might have been as many as 100.

Every time some demented loser would haul a gun — usually some sort of automatic — into a public place and lay waste around him (it’s always a him), I would get on my soapbox and excoriate the National Rifle Association, gun dealers, and our cowardly politicians for letting this outrage go on unchecked.

And do you know what came of it? Nothing. Unless you count the fact that gun sales always spiked.

Republicans finally have someone stand up to Trump's lies, but it turns out she’s a liar as well

The Republicans have finally found someone to man up to Donald Trump, who’s threatening to turn their presidential primaries into a Saturday Night Live skit. She’s a woman.

At the latest Republican debate, with a stage-full of candidates straining at the leash to distinguish themselves by puncturing the balloon that is The Donald, it was Carly Fiorina — and only Carly Fiorina — who coolly stepped forward to reveal his one-man clown show for what it was.

The Republican agenda (or lack thereof)

To hear Republican presidential candidates tell it, you’d think the most important issue facing the nation is Hillary Clinton’s old emails.

Not climate change, not the growing gap between the filthy rich and the deserving poor, and not our crumbling roads, declining schools, or tattered justice system — just Hillary’s emails.

Where was Republican outrage when one of their own slandered a Democrat's war record?

At long last Republican presidential hopefuls crept out of their foxholes, where they’d been cowering and maintaining radio silence, to attack Donald Trump.

With one or two exceptions, the field went AWOL as Trump trashed immigrants, calling them drug runners and rapists. But as soon as Trump said “I like people who weren’t captured,” suggesting that Senator John McCain was less than a hero, they pounced.

Greece's economic lesson: In hard times you can't cut your way back to prosperity

I’d like to apologize to the people of Greece.

I’ve been pretty hard on them over the years. I’ve made fun of their freewheeling spendthrift habits, their unwillingness to pay their taxes, and their early retirement ethos.

When they were given membership in the Euro zone, I made fun of that too, or at least of the rest of Europe’s willingness to cast its lot with the Greeks. “That’s like going mountain climbing with your safety rope tied to the town drunk,” I said.

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