Secrecy doesn’t serve Indian Hills’ best interests

There’s an old expression that officials of Indian Hills Community College obviously have not heard about – or have chosen to ignore.

The expression is simple: If you find yourself in a hole, stop shoveling.

But the school continues to shovel – digging itself ever deeper into legal trouble and into a public relations quagmire.

Kavanaugh’s mouth is just as troubling

It’s confession time:

I cannot say with confidence what transpired in that upstairs bedroom in a suburban home in Montgomery County, Md., on that summer evening, apparently in 1982, during a gathering of unsupervised, beer-drinking teenagers.

Unless you have just awakened like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, you know the party in question involved a 15-year-old girl named Christine Blasey and may or may not have involved a drunken 17-year-old boy named Brett Kavanaugh.

Taxpayers have been taken for an expensive ride

Most Iowans are pretty frugal. They don’t waste their money. They especially don’t like it when they believe government officials fritter away our tax money.

That’s why I think many people in Iowa are not familiar with the case of Chris Godfrey.

Otherwise, if they were truly informed about what has occurred in the past six and a half years, I am convinced they would be steamed about the decision and actions of Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds when they were governor and lieutenant governor.

It’s time to focus on Iowa’s real issues

Distraction appears to be a main focus so far in the race for Iowa governor.

Election Day is two months away. The decision Iowans make on Nov. 6 will be an important factor in where our state is headed.

But instead of having a full and frank debate over important issues and ideas that will shape Iowa’s future, Gov. Kim Reynolds and, to a lesser extent, Fred Hubbell are allowing the race to revolve around sideshow issues.

Church needs action, not ‘lawyerly blabber’

At most services, Father P.J. McManus moves quickly through the announcements --- typically covering such things as the coming Christ the King Church sweet corn festival, the signup for the fall retreat, or a new book study group that soon will begin.

This past weekend, however, the announcements took a very different theme and tone.

Father P.J. began by mentioning he was at a Des Moines Hy-Vee on Wednesday, shopping for a dinner he was hosting that evening for leaders of the youth group. He was not wearing his Roman collar at the store, and a parishioner he encountered asked about that unusual occurrence.

‘Trade secrets’ shouldn’t trump accountability

The Iowa Legislature wrote some wonderful concepts into the state’s government transparency laws.

For example: “This chapter seeks to assure, through a requirement of open meetings of government bodies, that the basis and rationale of governmental decisions, as well as those decisions themselves, are easily accessible to the people. Ambiguity in the construction or application of this chapter should be resolved in favor of openness.” (Chapter 21, Iowa Code.)

And: “In actions brought under this section the district court shall take into account the policy of this chapter that free and open examination of public records is generally in the public interest even though such examination may cause inconvenience or embarrassment to public officials or others.” (Chapter 22, Iowa Code.)

But increasingly, 11 other words in the public records law are causing headaches for Iowans who want to monitor the decisions their government makes.

UI should include public when decisions are needed

The University of Iowa announced last week that it will close seven academic centers, shrink three others and eliminate 33 jobs.

The reductions will save $3.5 million, officials said.

The announcement should come as no surprise if you have been paying attention to events in our state. The university has been caught in a vice --- squeezed between public pressure to hold down the size of tuition increases and the Legislature’s desire to hold down government spending.

Is this how Iowa wants to save money?

Don’t be surprised if a guy named Jamie Campbell turns out to be one of the key players in the 2018 race for Iowa governor.

Campbell’s name will not be on the ballot in November.

He will not be crisscrossing the state, appearing at one campaign event after another.

Trump is wrong about people’s rights

If you go out East this week and swing by places like Mount Vernon, Monticello and Montpelier, don’t be surprised if the soil has been disturbed over the graves of our Founding Fathers.

Those founders of this beacon of freedom known as the United States of America surely have turned over in their graves following the news from President Donald Trump.

The president announced that he wants to eliminate due process and access to the courts for people accused of entering the United States without government permission.

Tariffs aren’t as simple as Trump believes

The school year is finished, but whether we like it or not, Iowans have been sent to summer school this year.

The subject for our summer education: the economics of foreign trade and tariffs.

Professor Donald Trump assured us this would be really simple to master and wouldn’t take very long. But Iowa farmers and the owners and managers of many businesses are now realizing the professor might need to brush up on the subject material before he teaches more lessons.

Whirlpool/Maytag deal offers insight into foreign-trade issues and global markets


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