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Did you get a tape-recorded message on the phone from Rep. Steve King last week?
  • The Orphan Train stops in Carroll
    Christina Baker Kline wrote a novel titled “The Orphan Train” that is getting a lot of attention across the country, and it should.

    Although fiction, the storyline is based upon a part of our history that now seems eerie and perhaps even repugnant.  For about 75 years (1854-1929) several misguided charitable institutions in New York City thought that they could best help a large number of downtrodden children — orphans and victims of abject poverty and domestic abuse — by shipping them by train to the Midwest and hoping that they would be adopted by families on the farms and prairies of our country. 
  • Burns: Never a better time to be a DMACC graduate
    Congratulations, Des Moines Area Community College Class of 2016.
  • 10 reasons Trump should select Joni Ernst as running mate
    Donald Trump, the bombastic billionaire who has had defied convention, confounded expert prediction, punctured the business of punditry to obsolescence, now has his self-described large hands gripping the Republican presidential nomination.

    His speech Tuesday from Trump Tower in New York City amounted to a rhetorical basketball net-cutting for this bracket-busting political run for the ages. All Trump needed was Bobby Knight (whom he had as a celebrity endorser), scissors and the “Hoosiers” soundtrack.
  • No crying over spilled popcorn and Dr Pepper
    Yes, Bruce Willis’s character really being dead all along got me in “The Sixth Sense”  — and the movie particularly creeped me as I watched it in 1999 during a hurricane north of Boston.
  • Let the elephants  go out to pasture
    In the papers recently was a story that Ringling Brothers was soon going to put their elephants out to pasture, and they would be marching off into the sunset.
  • Do we trust King to talk Ted out of being Ted?
    So the eager suitor shows up to collect your daughter for a date.
  • Thanks for the memories: A bid farewell, Carroll
    I’ll never forget the first time I received a call from a 712 area code. I had never seen a 712 area code. So obviously I ignored it, but a voicemail — a lengthy one at that — came through. As I put the phone up to my ear, an unfamiliar voice carried out a message that would ultimately change the trajectory of my life and my career for the next three years.
  • Why Hillary Clinton will select Elizabeth Warren as running mat

    Let’s start with Hillary Clinton in her own words.

  • Our story starts in 1888.
  • Join or die
    Being hanged or drawn and quartered. Surely not relaxed ways to expire.
  • Dreams of Eisenhower in Trump’s mad reality
    Whether followed tweet by tweet, or consumed in more middle-aged fashion on cable TV loops, the Republican free-for-all is showing kids exactly how to fight a bully.
  • It’s time to put Iowa on the Supreme Court
    Even in death, Justice Antonin Scalia lives larger than life.
  • Ernst vs. Vilsack: An all-Iowa vice presidential debate?
    Iowa, the center of the political universe for the presidential parties’ nominating contests, should be pivotal in the November general election, too, not only as a swing state, but as home to two strong potential vice presidential candidates
  • Caucus Column
    I wasn’t really planning to caucus. Assigned to cover a Democratic caucus in Carroll, I’d mostly decided to remain separate from the caucus and anonymous behind my camera. But as I walked up to my precinct’s location, I thought, I should register. Just in case. As a deliberately registered no-party voter, I don’t directly identify with one major party or the other, and in fact have what some would call an overly idealistic dream that our country will someday be run by a third-party president.
  • The betting markets still favor Clinton to win Iowa
    As the traditional opening leg of the nomination process, the Iowa caucuses are always a big worldwide media story. Particularly so in the United Kingdom, and not just because of our “special relationship” with the USA.
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