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As Davenport simmers over gambling give-aways; similar questions should be raised in Bettendorf

As the Davenport City Council contemplates how it ended up paying millions in site work for its new land-based casino, Bettendorf aldermen also should be asking questions about its development agreement with the Isle of Capri Casino.

Revisions to that agreement in 2007 allowed Green Bridge Company (owned by the Goldstein family) to wiggle out of a pledge to create $27 million worth of riverfront development on land adjacent to the casino.

Gap in wealth grows partly because we keep electing politicians who promise nothing less

One of the biggest questions of the day is: Why do the rich keep getting richer and the middle class keep getting poorer?

This also ranks as the dumbest question of the day, week, month, or year. To anyone who’s been paying attention, it’s obvious why economic inequality in our land is growing:

That’s what we asked for.

Government by bagmen: Our experiment in self-governance spawns a highest-bidder-take-all bazaar

When Dennis Hastert was indicted for trying to cover up some $3.5 million in hush money payments to a man he’d allegedly sexually abused decades ago, Washington was shocked. I wasn’t.

I was shocked that Hastert, who’d spent the better part of his life in public service after working as a high school teacher and wrestling coach, could afford to contemplate a $3.5 million payout.

Farm pollution of rivers and streams parallels city/industry sewage pollution of 100 years ago

Today's pollution of Iowa rivers and streams from farm runoff echoes an earlier chapter in Iowa history when agricultural industries – livestock slaughterhouses and sugar beet processors – caused severe widespread pollution of those same state waterways.

Presidential candidates belatedly get worked up about inequality, but lose touch with reality

Hardly a day goes by that another candidate doesn’t announce his or her intention to run for the presidency. One day it’s Carly Fiorina, the next it’s Mike Huckabee, Bernie Sanders, or Hillary Clinton, even.

It’s like the circus — when the little car rolls into the center ring and a clown gets out, then another, then two more, and on and on until the ring is overflowing with 1,000 clowns, or so it seems.

The Baltimore uprising's backstory: Race riots as American as baseball and apple pie

Race riots, as we used to call them, are as American as baseball and apple pie.

What started out as righteous protest over the death of a young black man in the hands of Baltimore cops (he had been accused of “making eye contact with a police officer”) quickly degenerated into a full-scale riot. By nightfall the city was on fire, its hopes for a better tomorrow in ruins.

Bettendorf, aka Bettenberg, makes the big time on Emmy winning Netflix series 'House of Cards'

U.S. President Francis Underwood in the popular Netflix series 'House of Cards' has hit the Iowa campaign trail, just like the real presidential hopefuls now crisscrossing our state.

And in one of this season's episodes, Underwood's female challenger, Heather Dunbar, fires up a blue-collar crowd in a small, union hall calling for a higher minimum wage and criticizing WalMart. As she leaves the meeting, the sign in the background proclaims the location as "Bettenberg Union Hall." A smaller message on the same sign advertises "Sweet Corn Roast Thursday."

Ahhh, the presidential primary campaign season and the unmistakeable whiff of hypocrisy in the air

Baseball has spring training, football’s got its training camps. But for a political junkie like me, nothing compares with the opening of the presidential primary season.

Some 19 candidates, give or take, recently swarmed a Republican forum in New Hampshire in search of a kind word and a smile from voters there. They spent much of their time arm-wrestling each other over who hated Hillary Clinton more.

Proposed Bettendorf comprehensive plan truly would be a game-changer for city development

The proposed "Premiering Bettendorf" comprehensive plan – unveiled at a public meeting this week (4/14) – truly would be a game-changer for community development if adopted as is by the city council.

For starters, the plan would replace the more than two dozen very specific land zoning classifications with three broad land use categories using low- to high-density classifications.

Campaigns begin for presidential election and the trash-talking from SuperPACs isn't far behind

That harsh whine you hear in the background — like a buzzsaw getting ready for a log to come down the chute — is the vast right-wing conspiracy revving its engines.

America Rising, an opposition research Super PAC that lives to trash the Clintons, dashed off a press release challenging the notion that Hillary was going to “drive to Iowa” to start her campaign as she said she would. Hillary doesn’t drive, it said. Someone would have to drive her.

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